What if -- for your entire life -- you got all the apologies you deserved? Would your life be better or worse? Chances are you’d be a worse-off version of yourself.
Why? Because, in an ideal world, it'd be better if we were all honest and sorry for our mistakes and misconduct, but we don’t live in an idealistic world.
You have to be prepared for the reality waiting outside your front door: People will hurt you and never bother saying they’re sorry.
The apologies we don’t get, the ones we deserve more than anything else, are what mold us into strong individuals.
Whether this makes us better individuals or worse depends on the experiences. Overall, the apologies we don’t get show us more about life and more about human nature than just about any of life’s other lessons.
Here are a few you may still be waiting to hear:
"I’m sorry I bullied you all those years."
I called you names, threw crayons at you, stole your lunch, always picked you last. I know how much it hurt you, and I’m sorry.
Most of all, I’m sorry for how much I enjoyed it. I didn’t understand what I was doing; I was too young. Kids do dumb things.
"I’m sorry I only pretended to be your friend."
I knew you trusted me, relied on me even. I didn’t like you much, but I had no one else to hang out with. I let you become close, gained your trust, told you we were close friends, but then when it came down to it, I bailed.
I didn’t understand what I was doing until it happened to me, and I’m so sorry. I didn’t understand how deception can make you feel both worthless and alone.
"I’m sorry I never showed you how much I loved you."
I know I’m your parent, and I should have been there for you. I know it was my job to raise you and to show you how to best live your life. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for that. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for almost anything.
I’m sorry I didn’t go to the games or recitals. I’m sorry I didn’t spend time with you and didn’t show interest in the things you were involved with.
Maybe I didn’t care. Maybe I was too busy drinking or abusing drugs. Maybe I didn’t know how to talk to you. Maybe I was too busy trying to hold my life together to pay attention to you, my child.
Whatever the reason, I’m sorry.
"I’m sorry I never texted you back."
I’m not even sure why I didn’t think you deserved common courtesy, but I’m sorry I acted the way I did. It was cowardly, rude and hurtful.
I wish I had the guts just to tell you the way I felt instead of keeping you hanging.
"I’m sorry I never bothered to keep in touch."
We were friends for so long. Maybe we went to high school together or college. Or maybe were in a failed relationship that ended well.
I’m sorry I never put forth the effort. You’re a great person. Please don’t take it personally.
"I’m sorry I ran away and broke your heart."
I wasn’t ready for it. You were the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life, and it scared the sh*t out of me.
While I could picture myself spending the rest of my life with you, I wasn’t able to picture myself spending my life with anyone just yet.
I wasn’t mature enough. I was a coward. I didn’t understand what it meant to love. I didn’t know how to love you the way you deserved -- I had to run because staying wasn’t an option. I’m so very sorry.
"I’m sorry I let us drift apart."
I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t put much effort into it, and although you know you played your part, it only takes one adult to keep a relationship together.
I could have put in the extra effort. I could have thought of you more, allowed you to be more involved in my life or gave you the space you needed. I could have kept our love together, but I didn’t. Forgive me, please.
"I’m sorry I forgot all about you."
I know we were friends and lovers for all those years. I know we meant the world to each other, but I had to move on with my life, so I did.
I didn’t necessarily want to forget about you, but it just made things easier for me. Selfish? Maybe. But you can hardly blame me.
"I’m sorry I made promises I never intended to keep."
You were a means to an end -- nothing more. I knew what I was doing; in fact, I planned it that way. Maybe I didn’t truly understand the implications of my actions. Maybe I’m just an evil piece of sh*t.
Either way, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not bothering to understand what I was doing to you and how I was making you feel before I decided to use you. I’m just sorry for being a horrible human being.
"I’m sorry I didn’t respect you."
I knew you were a human being, like me, but I still believed I was better than you; I believed I deserved rights you didn't. I now understand without respect, we become little more than wild animals.
"I’m sorry I didn’t believe in your dreams."
I know I was your friend, and I’m sorry I thought you’d never make it. I laughed at you behind your back; we all did.
You just seemed more and more excited every few months, and nothing was changing. You just kept failing, but kept pushing forward like some moron.
But look at you now… I’m sorry we couldn’t support you the way we should have. We’re all sorry.
"I’m sorry I stopped loving you and broke your heart."
I said forever… who thought forever would only last a few months, a few years? I loved you so much, and I know you felt the same. I didn’t want to break your heart.
Things just changed. I changed; you changed. The relationship we once had no longer existed. I didn’t mean to hurt you so badly, but sometimes you just don’t love a person the way you did.
Staying would have only made things worse. Nevertheless, I’m sorry for the pain I caused. You didn’t deserve it.
"I’m sorry I can never forgive you."
I tried, but you just broke my trust again and again. Now, no matter how much I wish I could trust you, I just can’t. Ever. Some things are the way they are, and can’t be fixed.
Some things break beyond repair. I’m sorry it’s the way that it is, but it’s the way it has to be.